FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots on Friday signed free agent running back Michael Cloud and made room for him on the roster by releasing safety Arturo Freeman.

Cloud, 30, is entering his seventh NFL season after playing last year with the New York Giants. The 5-foot-10-inch, 205-pound running back from Boston College played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1999 to 2002. He spent 2003 with the Patriots, playing in five games and starting one.

Cloud started seven of his 71 NFL games, rushing 169 times for 589 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also caught 13 passes for 100 yards and returned 56 kickoffs for 1,194 yards.

Freeman, 28, was signed by the Patriots as a veteran free agent on Oct. 12. He played in two games for the Patriots this season, starting one and recording eight tackles.

Seattle coach Rhodes back in hospital

KIRKLAND, Wash. – Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes, who had a mild stroke two months ago, was hospitalized Friday after another “episode” and will miss Sunday’s game at Arizona.

“It wasn’t as severe as the first one,” coach Mike Holmgren said, declining to say if Rhodes had another stroke.

“I’ll let the medical people define that,” he said.

The Seahawks wouldn’t say where Rhodes was hospitalized.

Rhodes missed the Seahawks’ opener at Jacksonville on Sept. 11 after being hospitalized for two days after complaining of dizziness. Doctors said he had a mild stroke.

Quarterback Green will start for Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Trent Green looked sharp and ready Friday in his first practice of the week and will start on Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs play Oakland, coach Dick Vermeil said.

Vermeil had expressed concern on Thursday that Green might not be ready by Sunday. Services for Green’s father, who died suddenly on Oct. 27, were Wednesday and Green did not get back until Thursday evening.

“He wants to play,” Vermeil said. “I trust him because I know how unselfish he is. If he didn’t think he could step in and run our game plan, he would tell me. As you saw on the practice field today, he’s very sharp. He knows what he’s doing.”

Broncos’ Carswell released from hospital

DENVER – Broncos offensive lineman Dwayne Carswell was released from the hospital Friday, a week after he was critically injured in a car crash.

Carswell suffered rib fractures, a ruptured diaphragm, a ruptured spleen and internal injuries in the Oct. 27 crash and is out for the season.

He underwent a five-hour operation to remove his spleen and repair internal organ damage hours after the collision.

Carswell, 33, was on his way to Broncos headquarters in suburban Denver when two other cars collided and hit his 1994 Chevrolet sedan and other vehicles.

Steelers running back Staley will play Sunday

PITTSBURGH – Duce Staley is going to carry the ball for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday for the first time in almost 11 months.

The Steelers and their running back can only hope his return was worth the wait.

With Jerome Bettis not expected to play because of a quadriceps injury,

Staley will be activated for only the second time this season when the Steelers visit Green Bay on Sunday.

He missed all but one day of training camp following knee surgery and has been on the field for only a couple of snaps this season.

Superdome’s reopening date pushed back

BATON ROUGE, La. – The projected reopening date for the Louisiana Superdome has been pushed back about a month after a proposal for architectural design work was rejected.

The Superdome, which became a symbol of the destruction wrought by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and a shelter for thousands displaced by the storm, is not expected to be repaired and ready to host football games until November 2006.

But Superdome Commission chairman Tim Coulon said it is still possible the New Orleans Saints could play three or four games in the stadium next season. Tulane could also play some games at the facility.


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